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Nagasaki begins annual entry of names into register of A-bomb victims

Takako Morita writes the names of newly confirmed atomic bomb victims into the registry at the Nagasaki Municipal Government on May 28, 2018. (Mainichi)

NAGASAKI -- The city of Nagasaki on May 28 began the annual entry of names into the register of atomic bomb victims whose deaths were confirmed since August of last year.

Some 3,500 names will be added to the list this year, including prominent anti-nuclear weapons advocate Sumiteru Taniguchi and former Nagasaki University President Hideo Tsuchiyama, both of whom survived the U.S. atomic bombing of the city in 1945. Taniguchi died at age 88 in August 2017, while Tsuchiyama passed away at age 92 in September the same year.

Takako Morita, a second-generation atomic bomb victim who became in charge of the entry work in 2002, started carefully writing the names, dates of death and ages of the deceased into the register, using a traditional calligraphic pen.

In February this year, the municipal government decided to include the names of people who experienced the atomic bombing outside the blast radius that is used by the central government to legally define victims. The city received applications for entry into the register for 34 people in this new category.

Morita, 70, said she sensed the aging of the atomic bomb victims when she wrote their ages. "I want to pass on the preciousness of peace to next generations through what we are doing, praying for the deceased," Morita said.

The register carries 175,796 names in 179 volumes, and will be presented at the annual peace memorial ceremony on Aug. 9, the day the plutonium-based atomic bomb was detonated above the city more than seven decades ago.

(Japanese original by Yoshihito Asano, Nagasaki Bureau)

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